Random Fact Sheet #60 – A Treasure Trove of 35 Amazing and Bizarre Facts

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1Operation Frequent Wind

Operation Frequent Wind

The code to inform US troops that South Vietnam was lost and should be evacuated instantly was a weather report followed by the song, "White Christmas"... in April.

2. "Drop bears" are an Australian hoax intended to frighten outsiders and tourists by convincing them that some treetops were inhabited by sharp-toothed flesh-eating koala that could drop down from great heights (8 + meters) and attack.

3. Astronauts attach pieces of velcro into their helmets to scratch their noses during spacewalks.

4. Tom Cruise had Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Leah Remini and others over at his house and tried to play hide-and-seek with them, going so far as to run off into 3 acres of land.

5. There used to be a Latin warning describing the Strait of Gibraltar: "NON PLUS ULTRA", or "Nothing further beyond". After Spain reaped huge rewards proving that this wasn't quite true, they made their national motto "PLUS ULTRA", or "Further beyond".

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6Ornamental hermits

Ornamental hermits

In the 18th century England, some wealthy landowners would hire "ornamental hermits", who were poor people dressed in a Druid costume to live in rustic homes in their garden. This may have inspired garden gnome statues.

7. The caduceus symbol mistakenly used by many American medical companies is actually associated with thievery and commerce, the true medical symbol is the similar looking Rod of Asclepius.

8. Isolating a female cannabis plant from a male can increase production of buds (richest THC source) as the female increases her efforts to attract pollen from the male plant.

9. A small kid who has been nicknamed “Mini Jack Ma” due to his resemblance to 'Jack Ma', founder of Ali Baba Group, comes from a poor Chinese family, and has received donations and at least one offer to fund his education all thanks to his resemblance to the billionaire tycoon.

10. The "National" of the National Hockey League, refers to the nation of Canada, not the U.S.

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11Scented bowling balls

Scented bowling balls

There are scented bowling balls and, contrary to rumor, the creator came up with them because bowling pro shops are stinky places.

12. In 1961, when Yuri Gagarin returned from space Nikita Khrushchev wanted to boost the Soviet's anti-religion campaign by saying: "Gagarin flew into space, but didn't see any God there."

13. Three explorers (Bill Wilson, Henry Bowers, and Apsley Cherry Garrard) who wanted to prove that the penguins are the missing link between birds and reptiles went in the middle of the Antarctic winter (– 60°C) to collect penguin eggs in 1911 and when they returned back with the eggs the museum initially refused to look at them.

14. During the Cold War, the Soviets secretly bought clear Coca-Cola from the US and disguised it as vodka.

15. In 1959, a Norwegian insulation company took on the challenge from a radio station of driving a truck carrying three tons of ice from the arctic circle to the equator. The ice only lost 11% of its mass during the 27-day long journey.

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16Edward Stuart Baker

Edward Stuart Baker

Edward Stuart Baker survived a panther attack by shoving his left arm down its throat. Despite losing his arm, he remained a formidable tennis player and even won a local tournament several years later.

17. In 1959, Guinness dropped 150,000 special “messages in a bottle” into the Atlantic Ocean to celebrate its 200th birthday, making it one of the longest ad campaigns ever.

18. When Andy Samberg's comedy trio, The Lonely Island, was making a TV pilot in 2000 they were filming a scene in which an elderly lady is getting mugged when Kiefer Sutherland happened to walk by and tried to stop it thinking it was real.

19. About 30,000, or 24% of the world's cranes machines, are currently operating in Dubai.

20. The Statue of Liberty's torch has been closed to the public since July 30, 1916, when it sustained structural damage from the Black Tom explosion an act of German sabotage targeting a US munitions depot during World War 1.

21Cage-free eggs

Cage-free eggs

"Cage-free" eggs really don't make a difference in the wellbeing of the hen, since they can be cage-free and still stacked on top of each other in a coup. We just continue to pay significantly more for the same product that just 'sounds' better.

22. The 1940 Winter Olympics were originally given to Japan. They declined the games due to the start of the Sino-Japanese War. Eventually, they were awarded to Germany. 3 months later, Germany invaded Poland. The games were canceled altogether.

23. McDonald's is called Macca's in Australia. The nickname became so popular, they've registered it and in 2013 they even changed the signage.

24. Ramen noodles are now used more in bartering than tobacco products in prison.

25. When Adelaide opened it's power grid to competition, instead of lowering costs as intended, generators were shut down at peak demand so companies could charge more, leading to the highest costs for power anywhere on Earth.



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